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Lighting Fires – a collaborative team development workshop

Small groups set out to light a fire using a traditional bow drill and tinder. A deceptively simple technology to achieve a surprisingly challenging task!

A perfect activity for developing skills in team building, problem solving, collaboration and managing complex situations.

Also a great opportunity to get outdoors and meet round the fire – if you manage to start it!

For Organisations

Undertaking the task of fire lighting beings with a collaborative, practical activity and then leads to group reflection on the following key organisational themes:

  • engaging with vision and values (individual and organisational)
  • maintaining motivation and managing wellbeing (navigating between the extremes of ‘burnout’ and ‘boredom’)
  • developing effective approaches to handling complexity

This task is ideal for individual and group development.

It engages individuals immediately in a situation that calls for responsiveness and collaboration rather than reaction and acting out of habitual or purely theoretical responses.

Aims and Potential Outcomes

Core aspects of this task that make it a particularly effective development tool are:

  • Team development– the task will only be achieved if it is performed in small groups who develop effective team working strategies
  • Everyone’s a novice – the skill of kindling a fire using a traditional fire bow and tinder is largely lost. It requires very simple technology which anyone can use, but a degree of skill which a team needs to master in a relatively short time span.
  • Situated learning – the task needs to be undertaken outdoors. This develops acute awareness of context, conditions that may need careful negotiation, awareness of safety and impact on the group of unpredictable and less-tangible elements.
  • Managing expectations – this task engages individuals both practically, cognitively and emotionally. Expectations get raised, a range of emotions is experienced. These require self-management and also collaborative management.
  • Mapping into other contexts – the task goes to the core of the role of managing the dynamics of ‘burnout’ and ‘boredom’ that arises in most workforces. As a practical activity it is also a catalyst for a first-hand engagement with a process that finds its analogue in individuals and organisations.
  • Transferable skill building – though the specific skills that the task involves will not be directly used in organisational contexts, the task directly involves participants in a focussed, social and situational engagement that affords core learning that is widely transferable.
  • Self-analysis and team analysis – appropriately facilitated reflective processes enable for self and team analysis to follow from engagement in the practical task. The potential for these reflections to be transformative on personal and group levels has been confirmed on numerous occasions.

Fire lighting is a one day workshop.

Flexible group sizes, though it is recommended that groups are between 6 – 21 in number.

Workshops can be brought to your context, organisation, situation – given a suitable outdoor location for the practical activities.

Workshops can be delivered in the Stroud area at one of our teaching sites.

Costs from  £550 per day, depending on group size, workshop length and location. Contact us for more information.